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Photograph portrait, signed and inscribed by Frankfurter to a young female law student, Ellen Nash, the sole woman graduate of her law class and later one of the first women to practice law on Charlottesville Court Square.

New York: the Pach Brothers, [c.1950] Stock Code: 123174
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Inscribed by Frankfurter to a pioneering female practitioner of law

A handsome three-quarter length portrait of Frankfurter, seated in judicial robes, facing left, inscribed by him, "For Enie Nash, with every good wish for her successful practice of the public profession of the law, from her devoted friend, Felix Frankfurter", dated 15 January 1950.

Ellen "Enie" Virginia Nash (1910-1995) was a pioneering female practitioner of law in Virginia. She was the niece of Frances Nash Watson, the eminent American concert pianist and wife of General Edwin "Pa" Watson, Roosevelt's military aide and secretary. The Watsons lived in a house called Kenwood, designed by Roosevelt's cousin, the architect William A. Delano; Roosevelt himself had a cottage for his own use nearby. Presumably through Roosevelt, Frankfurter became a close friend of the Watsons. He and Frances maintained a regular and affectionate correspondence, and a photograph of Frankfurter inscribed to Frances was on display at Kenwood alongside others, similarly inscribed (Orr & Jordan-Anders). It was no doubt through his association with the Watsons that Frankfurter befriended their niece, Ellen Nash, who graduated from the University of Virginia as the sole woman of her law class and was one of the first women to practice law on Charlottesville Court Square. She was extremely active in local and national politics, and alongside her work with the Civil Works Administration (later WPA), she was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Charlottesville-Albermarle Bar Association fifteen times, earned her pilot's license in 1945, and was a member of the Democratic party and served on the County Electoral Board from 1973-9. She remained in Charlottesville until her death at the age of 85.

The likeness was taken by the Pach Brothers, one of the oldest photographic firms companies in New York City, first established in the mid-1860s and best known for their portraits of nationally prominent members of society, including every American president from Ulysses S. Grant through Franklin D. Roosevelt and figures such as Maude Adams, Charles Chaplin, Oscar Hammerstein, and Mark Twain. This portrait of Frankfurter is held in the Pach Brothers Portrait Photograph Collection at the New-York Historical Society and the Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States. It has been regularly chosen to illustrate biographical accounts, such as his entry in Shultz's Encyclopedia of American Law (2002) and a variety of modern legal histories such as Belknap's The Supreme Court Under Earl Warren (2005). There are only two previous auction records listed for signed photographs of Frankfurter (2012, 2003), making them scarce in commerce.

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Monochrome photograph by the Pach Brothers studio, signed in black ink below the image on the white mount, further mounted and framed. Image size: 205 x 177 mm. Frame size: 360 x 270 mm.


The image and mount in fine condition.


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